Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cloudburst (2011)

Directed by: Thom Fitzgerald

Starring: Olympia Dukakis, Brenda Ficker, Ryan Doucette

The Main Review: Cloudburst is a 2011 film about two aging lesbians on their way to Canada. Stella, the foul mouthed, cowboy hat-wearing, tequila-drinking alpha female, and Dottie, the sweet, blind woman Stella is very in love with, are separated when Dottie's granddaughter tricks her into entering a nursing home. Stella liberates Dottie and they decide to go to Canada so they can legally marry after being together for thirty-one years. It's like a happier Thelma and Louise.
They even have a sexy Brad Pitt character.

So, Dottie and Stella have been living together for thirty-one years. They're clearly in love. Dottie, now blind, it taken care of solely by Stella. However, when Dottie falls off a bed (from being tickled by Stella with a vibrator), Molly, her granddaughter, thinks it's time for Dottie to be put in a old-folks home. Molly has no idea about Dottie and Stella's relationship - thinking that they're just best friends. So, telling her grandmother that she's signing something that clears Stella of any responsibility after the accident, Molly is able to dupe her grandmother in agreeing to move to a nursing home.

When Stella finds out, she's furious. So, once Dot is gone, she immediately plans a way to free Dot, which she does, and they hit the road. They stop in a diner and, after discussing how Stella could better take care of Dot if they were married, Stella proposes and Dot accepts to try being married to her. So, they set off to Canada. Along the way, they pick up a hitchhiker, Prentice, a modern dancer on his way to Canada as well to visit his dying mother. 

As they get closer to the border, Stella starts to get paranoid. She suggests that they split up - Dot and Prentice crossing into Canada together and her meeting them there later. Dot and Prentice do make it but, due to Stella's foul mouth, she has a harder time finding someone to give her a ride. Prentice doubles back and gets her. However, they get stopped at the border and Stella's big mouth (and the fact that they still have Dot's medication in the car) gets the two of them questioned and Prentice cavity searched. After this, the two of them are released and, despite Prentice's obvious anger at Stella, they pick up Dot together and head to Prentice's family's house.

Here's Where It Gets Spoilerific: Once there, Prentice greets his mother, Cat - who claims to not really be dying (on that day at least). Dot uses their bathroom and then decides to lie down for a minute. She, unfortunately, ends up in bed with Cat's (very naked) husband and gets, uh... I think the correct phrase is tea-bagged. Dot runs out of the house to Stella and there is a (very naked) chase scene. 

Prentice offers to take his mother away from her mean husband, but she declines, saying he has no way to take care of her. So, Prentice leaves with Stella and Dot. They get their marriage licences and a time the next day to get married. Prentice takes them to a bar and gives them a very touching best-man speech.
The next day, Dot and Stella go to get married. However, Molly and her husband, Tommy, show up (Stella called her during a moment of doubt) and tries to stop the wedding. She gets called out on tricking her grandmother into signing away her assets and is arrested. They all go to the police station and Molly and Dot have a heart to heart.

Dot, Stella and Prentice are driving away when Dot starts to have a heart attack. She demands that Prentice marry her and Stella in the car. Molly and Tommy call an ambulance but Dottie passes quickly. Stella and Prentice talk about Dot and, at her funeral, Prentice does Dottie's favorite modern dance number.
Scenes To Watch Out For: When Stella breaks Dot out of the nursing home. Genius!

Stella's monologue praising the c-word.

Dot and Stella's marriage in the truck.

Prentice's modern dance number at Dot's funeral. Stella just laughs and laughs while everyone else considers if this is offensive or not.

Anything Else: This movie has a fantastic way of putting very sad situations in a funnier light. For example, Dot and Stella's truck-marriage and Dot's funeral sound very sad and, while it is, the way it's done is rather amusing. So, even when something so terrible is happening, we're able to see something a little on the brighter side. I think that's pretty amazing.

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